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Vegetalia Barcelona restaurant review

Hola chicos y chicas!

I've just got off a plane after a few wonderful, wonderful days in Spain, visiting two lovely cities - Barcelona and Madrid.

I've been to Barcelona a good few times in the past for both work and on holiday, but never as a vegan, and I've never been to Madrid full stop. That meant that, as well as exploring the cities' art, architecture, bars and streets, I was bang up for exploring what both places would present in terms of vegan food.

My first stop was Vegetalia, a little cafe-type place not far from La Rambla, the huge pedestrianised street that's one of the best known and visited bits of Barcelona.

Vegetalia's a fairly straightforward place - the menu's a pick and mix arrangements of things like burgers, nachos, salads, soups, noodles, and desserts. It's veggie, but at least half the menu's vegan and marked as such.

I went in with my other half, and two omni friends. We kicked off with two lots of nachos between us, one vegan with guac, and one not, with cheese. Here's the vegan one I hogged (apols for crappy mobile phone picture):

No trouble there - some nicely made guacamole, bit of onion and tomatoes, and a clean plate. Next up, we all went for burgers, which came either 'al pan' (translated in English as 'in a bun' on the menu) or with rice and salad. 

There were, if memory serves, two vegan burger options, and I opted for the seitan and carrot. I ordered mine with the rice and salad, and got some nicely cooked brown rice and salad with a lemony dressing. The burger was neither particularly seitany or carroty, but tasty nonetheless, and perfectly moist. 

Friends who went for the 'al pan' option rather oddly got theirs in between slices of seeded toast, rather than in the promised bun (although the Spanish 'pan' just means bread, rather than a bun, so maybe that's a problem with the translation rather than the kitchen).

As well as getting the salad I enjoyed, the 'al pan' people had more nachos in place of rice - leaving a lot of nacho-ed out people around that table! My other half also got a pot of spicy sauce with his burger (the only one of us that did), a red peppery concoction that wouldn't have got amiss on the side of everyone's plate as a shortcut to a quick burger pep-up.

While I like brown rice, nachos and wholemeal bread, when I go for a burger, I kind of want dirty food - fried potatoes, bread big enough to cross the Channel on, that sort of thing - none of which was on the menu. Vegetalia had more a healthy, whole food vibe though, so I can't hold my unhealthy cravings against them.

As an introduction to Barcelona's veg*n food, Vegetalia was a good start - the food turned up quickly, the waiter was a friendly geezer, and the food itself may not have had as much deep frying and carbs as I wanted, but it was simple and tasty - and, I was to find out, carbs and deep frying wouldn't be in short supply during my stay. Result!

Restaurante Vegetalia
54 Carrer dels Escudellers
933 17 33 31

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  1. Sounds delicious, if a bit too healthy! Maybe would have been good in the middle of a carb- and fried-heavy trip, but anyways, it is good to see there are places to eat in countries that are often presented as totally unfriendly to vegans!

    1. Zacly - we were both so suprised at the vegan options out there!

  2. Spain and vegan are two opposite poles of the earth in my experience - for eating out that is - as the produce you can get there if you have a kitchen is amazing. We lived in Spain last year and have written quite a few posts on Spanish food. alas, in the end, we took to recreating vegan versions of the Spanish classic at home since we just couldn't get a meal out at all where we were. But then we were in Andalucia and not Barcelona which I'm sure is a hellofalot better. Excited to see how this progresses in Madrid. Things must be changing in Spain I'm sure and Madrid will hopefully turn up the first signs of this.

    1. Often when we go abroad we get a place for that reason, but when we were both in Barcelona and Madrid we didn't really use them, as there were quite a few good veggie places out there.

      Interesting to hear about Andalucia - we'd been hoping to go there maybe next year. Forewarned is forearmed!

  3. Haha, fun! I have never been to Spain but my sister teaches there now - I should get her to show me around (and help with the translating of foodstuffs.) Interesting about the seitan/carrot burger... sort of like how a peanut is neither a pea nor a nut, but at least it was vegan and tasty!


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